The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Monday, 23 March 2009

In The Ghetto

Today, through the door, came a guide to Greenwich. Which was kind of wasted on me, because I already go to Greenwich very often. It’s one of the great benefits about living in Lewisham; it means you are very nearly living in Greenwich. Or Blackheath. It gives you a slight inferiority complex, though – rather like the people in Catford or New Cross must get from living near Lewisham. We look up to Greenwich, we look down on New Cross. Who looks up to New Cross? Tramps, probably.

It’s not all bad. About half-way up Loampit Hill, number 62 you have Mr Pink’s amazing technicolour house. He’s a little bit eccentric, and has chosen his own colour scheme. Mostly turquoise and salmon. It’s always being used for fashion shoots. It’s fantastic and should be a listed building.

A little further up the road, at 72 you have Bargain Junction, a junkyard which basically sells absolutely nothing anyone could ever need but what everyone really wants. Furniture, statues, gazebos. Life-size metal unicorns. If I had to nominate anywhere in London as a likely entrance to Narnia, it’d be this place. Either that or via the Ladies’ Toilets in the Lamb & Flag in Covent Garden (though that probably leads to Diagon Alley).

New Cross itself, though, is a dive. Whenever I go through it, there’s always a couple of blokes having a fight at exactly the same place. Well, I say ‘fight’, but they never actually touch each other. Basically they prowl and swear, jabbing fingers and smashing lager bottles as their girlfriends pull them back shouting ‘Leave it Shane, he’s not worth it!’. They’ll even take their jackets off, for no reason other than they’ve seen people do it on television. It’s like watching two peacocks bickering over a peahen.

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